What is Marriage Coaching
Marriage coaching teaches skills and their application to husbands and wives so they can work out their unique relationship to achieve the results that they desire from their marriage. Coaches do not give advice. Coaches do facilitate a process of discovery so you can figure out what will work for you. The process focuses on understanding the issues through good communication, exploring options, eliminating barriers, moving to action, and creating accountability for results. Many studies have proven the value of an experienced coach.1 Before our society became so mobile, families often lived close enough where wives and husbands could seek coaching from respected senior family members.
Today there are numerous approaches that try to improve a hurting or languishing marriage. Counseling, therapy, and coaching are different approaches and each has its strengths and weakensses. Mentoring is similar to coaching but different in significant ways. A coach does everything a mentor does except a coach does not give advice. What makes coaching different is the use of the coaching process that helps you change your behaviors and achieve better results.
So with all these approaches to strengthening and saving marriages, why are there so many failed marriages?
We believe the answer is straightforward. We receive little training in interpersonal communications and many of the examples that we grew up around were not healthy. Consequently, we never learned effective and healthy methods of communication. When ineffective communication skills are coupled with unhealthy ideas about marriage roles and responsibilities and unexpressed expectations, it should not be surprising that marriages are experiencing difficulty.
Why Coaching Works
Changing your thinking and behavior is difficult and long-term change is unlikely to occur from a single conversation, a weekend retreat, or Bible study. Couple coaching as presented by MarriageTeam provides several features that promote long-term change and growth:
- Learn improved interpersonal communication and problem solving skills that are practiced for several weeks and incorporated into daily life.
- Mutual accountability for positive change the way each teammate needs to hear it.
- Supportive environment for effective communication and exploring issues.
- Exercises to explore “hidden” issues with practical approaches for resolution.
- New insight into many of the issues causing stress in your marriage.
- Different paradigms for looking at your marriage relationship.
- Accountability with your coach couple and each other for implementing agreements.
We have seen dozens of coach couples come along side husbands and wives with skill building materials to strengthen and save marriages.
1. The Neuroscience of Leadership by David Rock and Jeffery Schwartz, Strategy and Business, June 2006.